How do you teach Letter Recognition?

It is SUMMERTIME and time to relax but I know you can't help but start thinking about it. Back to school time. Kindergarten teachers everywhere are resetting their clocks for a whole new batch of students who will be anything but independent. Some come to us ready for action, don't get me wrong, but for the most part...it's an uphill battle.  3 weeks or so of training and we are a well oiled machine but let me tell ya, you have to mentally prepare for those first 3 weeks!

Today I am focusing on Letter Recognition. It's that first big assessment we give at the beginning of the year and our first real focus in Kindergarten.

Hands on Learning

We start with a lot of hands on activities. If your kiddos have little to no experience with the alphabet then they need to manipulate those shapes. Buckets and buckets and buckets of ABC's get the job done!  We use alphabet charts to match up the letters, magnetic letters (just to 'play' with!) and alphabet gems to put in order.
The ABC chart pictured is from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard

 And don't forget the playdough.....
 

Music

NOTHING is better in kindergarten than a song or two about the alphabet! Here are a few of my favorites!

I love, love, love Heidi Songs! I've blogged about how I use them to teach sight words here but at the beginning of the year I use them to teach not only letter recognition but letter sounds as well. You can see them in Heidi's store HERE. I have the original videos (with Heidi in them) and now the new animated set. The kids love both!

Dr. Jean-Alphardy Song
We sing the Alphardy song EVERY SINGLE MORNING the first 9 weeks of school.  I'm telling you, it does the trick! I have the MP3 version and I play it and show an alphabet chart on the big screen. We have motions to go with each letter. 

Crafts

In the "olden days" (that's what I refer to the time when I taught full day) I used to do a craft every afternoon the first 6 weeks of school to highlight the letter of the day. After 26 (or so) days in school I had the whole thing covered! The end result was a fabulous ABC book my kiddos got to take home.
The bonus was as we did each craft I was teaching my kiddos all of those important skills like cutting, gluing (only a dab!), following directions, and assessing them on things like shapes and colors. I've never found a way to fit this activity in to half day but this year I am going to do it! I will find a way!

I took all of my old file folders down and found my favorite craftivities and put them into one digital file. Here it is!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Alphabet-Book-2588165
Click HERE to see it in my store!
Every letter has a cut, glue, color, draw, listen, follow directions, count, dab, or learn something new activity. 

That's how I start the year teaching introducing the alphabet and getting my kiddos past that first big assessment. What do you do to teach letter recognition at the beginning of the year? I'd love to here from you! 

Thanks for stopping by today! Here are some links to the products listed in this post as well as some other great alphabet activities!